Malting barley futures extended their decline as results from the UK indicated "one of the best ever" winter barley harvests, underlining ideas of strong European supplies this year.
With 75% of the British barley harvest completed, the crop had shown a yield of 6.5-7.0 tonnes per hectare, above the average of 6.4 tonnes per hectare, despite tests early in the season from excessive rainfall, and in July from too little, consultancy Adas said.
"The majority of crops harvested in southern England have yielded above the farm average," offsetting some disappointing results in the West Midlands," the consultancy said.
"Lower yields are from crops on lighter soils that suffered water stress in July or those that had bare patches following waterlogging overwinter."
However, overall on quality, "early data indicate that there are plenty of good quality samples for both malting and feed this season".
'One of the best ever'
Separately, Stuart Shand at grain merchant Gleadell said that "the winter barley harvest is all but over and has been one of the best ever.
"Malting yields have been very good," with reports of Syngenta's SY Venture variety yielding 10 tonnes per hectare," although the average is probably closer to 7 tonnes per hectare", he said.
For spring barley too, early harvest results have shown yields "so far very food", and quality "good to very food", except on lighter land where crops were more susceptible to dryness last month.
"In Scotland, the harvest is just under way and so far everything looks good quality and yield wise," Mr Shand said, if cautioning that results should be treated with caution, as only a small proportion of UK spring barley has been cut so far.
'Not taking merchant calls'
The positive reports underline positive prospects for EU malting barley supplies has a whole, as underlined by the likes of RMI's Nordic crop tour last week, while Strategie Grains on Thursday hiked by 1.0m tonnes, to a four-year high of 58.3m tonnes, its forecast for the bloc's overall barley crop.
"Markets are very difficult to find due to an abundance of good quality barley, with few contract failures," Mr Shand said.
"Buyers are relaxed, still expecting the market trend to continue down, either extending their holidays or not taking merchant calls.
"They are probably right to do so."
Malting barley underperforms
Malting barley for November was quoted at E201.75 a tonne in Paris on Thursday, down E1.00 on the day and 9.1% for August so far, with a decline in the malting premium exaggerating a decline in underlying grain prices.
Paris milling wheat for November stood at E184.50 a tonne, up 1.4% on the day, and down a modest 2.8% for August.